Off Topic: Who Are NFL Fans?

Today is the first Sunday of the 2016 NFL season. (Go Pats!)

So I tapped into our Q1 2016 benchmark of U.S, consumers to look at the make-up of NFL fans, examining the consumers who say they like watching the NFL (and other pro sports) on TV. As you can see in the chart below:

  • NFL is the king of U.S. pro sports. The appeal for football is more than 20-points higher than baseball and basketball.
  • Older males love the NFL. Males of every age like to watch football more than their female peers, and the level of interest increases with every increase of age. For females, 45 to 54 is the prime time for NFL interest.
  • Gender gap jumps at 35. For consumers who are 35 and older, the gap between male and female NFL fans is more than 20 points.
  • More income means more NFL. Consumers who earn $100K or more are considerably more active fans of the NFL on TV than are those who earn less.
  • Sheraton’s customers are NFL fans. We examined the customer bases of 318 companies across 20 industries. The level of NFL fandom ranges from a high of 74% of Sheraton’s customers down to 48% of Empire BCBS’ customers.

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Off Topic: Young Adults Turn Off Baseball, Turn On Soccer

One of the things I noticed at this year’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is that teams were not as focused on the issue of losing younger fans. So I decided to see if there’s anything to worry about. While we don’t have data on kids, we do have lots of data on young adults.

I tapped into our 2012 and 2016 consumer benchmark studies to examine the percentage of of 18- to 24-year-olds who enjoy watching sports on TV. It turns out that:

  • The top 3 major league sports across all U.S. adults this year is football/NFL (56%), baseball/MLB (35%), and basketball/NBA (33%). For young adults, the top three are the NFL (46%), the NBA (38%), and soccer/MLS (23%).
  • Over the past four years, young adults have lost some interest in five of the eight sports we examine.
  • MLB has dropped the most (down 3.4 %-points) followed by NASCAR (down 2.6 %-points).
  • MLS has increased the most (up 7.1 points) followed by the NBA (up 2.5 points).

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Female Sports Enthusiasts are the Happiest

In recent posts I explored the demographics of sports enthusiasts and the demographics of happiness. So why not  look at those two topics together? I dug into our U.S. consumer benchmark and examined the happiness of males and females who enjoy watching sports. As we know from the previous analysis, females are happier than males. But this analysis also shows that:

  • Females who enjoy golf are the happiest consumers.
  • The happiest males are those who enjoy golf, soccer, or tennis.
  • Consumers who enjoy sports are much happier than those who don’t.
  • The largest female-male happiness gap occurs with consumers who don’t enjoy sports. When it comes to sports enthusiasts, the largest gap is with golf, basketball, and football.

SportsHappinessGenderThe bottom line: Sports enthusiasts are happier people

Off Topic: Pro Sports Appeal To Different Ethnic Groups

Tomorrow and Saturday I’ll be attending the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. It’s an amazing line-up of the biggest names in sports. And they’ll be talking my language: sports, statistics, and analytics.

In honor of the conference, I did some of my own analysis of pro sports, digging into our recent consumer survey to identify which US consumers prefer watching eight different professional sports. As you can see below, the sports have strongholds with different ethnic groups:

  • Football appeals the most to African Americans
  • Basketball appeals the most to African Americans (basketball has the largest ethnic gap, 38 percentage points between African Americans and Caucasians).
  • Baseball appeals the most to Hispanics
  • NASCAR appeals the most to Caucasians
  • Hockey appeals the most to Caucasians
  • Golf appeals the most to Asians
  • Tennis appeals the most to African Americans
  • Soccer appeals the most to Hispanics

The bottom line: Analysis matters in sports, even on the business/marketing side

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